The thing about traditions is that they don't really mean something until we make them our own! In preparation for decorating your home this Christmas, why not think about doing your own thing, even if it means straying a bit from the norm. Use familiar customs as a guide, but rely on your own personal flair and tastes to give this year’s holiday season a special individual twist.
Here are some ideas you can try to personalise your Christmas this year:
Bag the Stockings
The ritual of hanging hosiery from the fireplace has been around since at least 1823, according to the Smithsonian Magazine, when Clement Clarke Moore wrote the poem A Visit From Saint Nicholas which included the line "...fill’d all the stockings; then turn’d with a jerk,/And laying his finger aside of his nose/And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.” Legend says that a generous gentleman once slid down a chimney to leave gold coins for sweet needy girls whose recently laundered stockings were hung to dry by the fire. As years passed and the custom caught on across Europe and America, people opted for larger, sturdier, special socks — those not worn but brought out only on Christmas Eve.
This year, forgo the fuzzy red stockings and hang handmade bags instead. DC interior style expert Tricia Huntley suggests buying burlap, hemp, linen or cotton bags and stamping them with your loved ones’ names, silhouettes or even numbers. Doing so "adds an organic feel to your decor without being too stodgy", Huntley told the Huffington Post.
Make it a White Christmas … Tree
Decorating Christmas trees dates back to the 16th Century when devout Christians in Germany were said to bring decorated trees into their homes for the holidays, according to History.com. A decorated tree is one of the most recognized symbols of Christmas, and lighting it is a favorite American pastime (though it's not just Americans that practice this tradition!). Each year, thousands gather to watch the lighting of the beloved Rockefeller Center tree in New York City, or locally at their own city’s tree lighting evening.
This holiday season, instead of the focus of your tree being whether to go faux or fir, think 'colour'. For a non-traditional, more sophisticated change, ditch the evergreen and go white. A white Christmas tree will become the room’s focal point, so additional decor should be kept simple, crisp and clean. For a whimsical look, consider a black and white theme complete with gifts wrapped in plain paper tied with big festive metallic bows. For inspiration, visit Stylizimoblog.com. Or, to add some color to your white tree, hang silver ornaments and add occasional pops of neon using ribbons or handmade or painted ornament toppers.
Hot pink, kelly green, sky blue … think bold colors for a kitschy Christmas this year. When decorating with non-traditional Christmas colors, the key is to be cohesive in everything you do. But be careful not to overdo it. If your tree is big and bright, opt for a simple white wreath hung by a thick neon ribbon. If your tree is tastefully bare, order an ornament wreath from Etsy (or get crafty and make one yourself). DIY experts give you all the details on how to get started at MarthaStewart.com. No matter its shape, color or size, a wreath bears the symbol of unity and victory — something everyone, no matter their style, can appreciate this season.